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Shawwal 23 Wednesday Hijrah 1443
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Title – The Message   Preface   Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture   Arabia before Islam   Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires   Ancestors of the Prophet   Birth of the Prophet   Childhood of the Prophet   Rejoining the Family   Period of Youth   From Shepherd to Merchant   From Marriage up to Prophethood   The First Manifestation of Reality   The First Revelation   Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?   Cessation of revelation   General Invitation   Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an   The First Migration   Rusty Weapons   The Fiction of Gharaniq   Economic Blockade   Death of Abu Talib   Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension   Journey to Ta’if   The Agreement of Aqabah   The Event of Migration   The Events of the First Year of Migration   Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration   The Events of the Second Year of Migration   Change of Qiblah   The Battle of Badr   Dangerous Designs of the Jews   The Events of the Third Year of Migration   The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration   The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam   The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration   The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration   The Battle of Ahzab   The Last Stage of Mischief   The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration   The events of the Sixth Year of Migration   A Religious and Political Journey   The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration   Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger   The Story of Fadak   The Lapsed ‘Umrah   The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration   The Battle of Zatus Salasil   The Conquest of Makkah   The Battle of Hunayn   The Battle of Ta’if   The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr   The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration   The Battle of Tabuk   The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina   The Prophet Mourning for his Son   Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia   Representatives of Najran in Madina   The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration   The Farewell Hajj   Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor   The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration   A Will which was not written   The Last Hours of the Prophet  

 

Chapter 10: The Necessity of Fighting Hypocrisy

 

The most difficult struggle is the one against hypocrisy, for it is the struggle against the cunning that use the stupid as their weapon. This fight is several degrees more difficult than the fight with unbelief, because, in the battle with unbelief, the struggle is against an unconcealed, open and unhidden current, while the struggle against hypocrisy is in fact a struggle against concealed unbelief. Hypocrisy has two faces: one is the outward, face – Islam and Muslim; the other inward – unbelief and evil. It is very difficult for the ordinary people to spot this latter aspect, and sometimes impossible; and thus the struggle with hypocrisy ends in failure because the great majority of people cannot extend the reach of their perception beyond outward forms and the hidden does not become apparent. They do not have a long enough range to penetrate the depths of the inward nature of things.

Amir al-mu’ minin (as) wrote in the letter he sent to Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr:

“The Messenger of Allah said to me: ‘I do not fear for my community from the believer or the unbeliever. As the believer, Allah will protect him because of his belief, and, as for the unbeliever, Allah will humiliate him because of his unbelief. But I fear about every one of you who is a hypocrite in his heart and learned in speech. He speaks what you can accept, but he does what you cannot accept.'” 22

The Prophet here points out the danger in hypocrisy and the hypocrite, because the majorities of people are uninformed and unaware, and are taken in by outward appearances. 23

Care must be taken over the fact that with every bit that stupidity increases, the way opens further for hypocrisy. The struggle with the stupid and stupidity is the struggle with hypocrisy too, for the stupid are the tools in the hands of the hypocrites. Naturally, the struggle with the foolish and with foolishness is to disarm the hypocrites, and take the sword out of their hands.

Notes:

22. ibid., Letter no.27.

23. Thus we see throughout the history of Islam that every time a reformer arises on behalf of the people to reform the state of their society and religion, and the interests of the unjust and the profiteers are endangered, these latter immediately don the disguise of sanctity, and display their piety and religion.

When al-Ma’mun ar-Rashid, the `Abassid Caliph famous in the history of rulers for his Epicureanism and extravagance, saw that the `Alawis were on the ascendance, he put on a change of clothing and showed himself in public in a new light. Then Abu Hanifah al-Iskafi, who neither took a penny from him, nor benefited from him, praised him for this and composed the following panegyric:

“O Ma’mun, the like of whom among the rulers of the State of Islam, has never been seen, by Arab or by simple peasant, wore a coat of fur for so long, that it became old, worn and tatty. His close companions were amazed at this excess and asked him for the reason for this. He said: “Tales are left behind by kings, among the Arabs and the non-Arabs, not by fine cotton and linen!”

And so on, each in his way excelling in the well-tried and oppressive politics of “holding the Qur’an up on spears”, and defeating all effort and self-sacrifice, nipping each new resurgence in the bud. This is nothing but the ignorance and unknowing of people, which does not know how to distinguish between slogans and reality, thus closing the way of resurgence and reformation to themselves, and then realizing that all the preparatory work has been cancelled out and that they must start at the beginning again.

Of all the great points we learn from the life of ‘Ali, we see that this kind of struggle is not confined to any special group, but that everywhere that a group of Muslims, or those who are got up in the garb of religion, become a tool for the advance of non-Muslims and the progress of colonialism, and the colonialists, for the protection of their own interests, give them cover, and then use them as their shield, so that it becomes impossible to fight them without doing away with the shields, then it is necessary to begin by fighting with these shields and destroying them so as to remove the obstacle in the way and be able to attack at the heart of the enemy. Perhaps the machinations of Mu’awiyah had something to do with the Khawarij’s sabotage, and therefore even on that day Mu’awiyah, or at least people like al-Ash’ath ibn al-Qays, and other elements in the sabotage and disturbances, gave cover to the Khawarij.

The history of the Khawarij teaches us the fact that in every resurgence the “shields” must first be got rid of and the fools fought with, just as ‘Ali, after the events of the arbitration, first of all attacked the Khawarij and then intended to follow upon the tracks of Mu’awiyah.

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